|Guided Excursion Tours of Riga Old City, Riga, Sigulda, Krimulda, Jurmala, Cesis & more|
|Tour of Riga - What to see & do in Riga Area|
|click for illustrated map of Historic Riga Center||Sigulda Area Tours|
There is something for everyone to see and to do while in Riga. This is one of the main advantages of Riga over other European or Baltic cities. Riga has the both the historic merchant past and the old world charm of the Nineteenth Century and has a look and feel somewhat like Paris. Some have even refereed to Riga as the "Paris of the north" ! To add even more charm, Riga has many great and relaxing city parks that are exciting during all seasons! Patricia Tourist Office offers custom guided excursions of Riga, Sigulda, Krimulda, Jurmala, Cesis, Rundale and more.
The Riga skyline is breathtaking so visit St Peters Church and take the elevator to the top for an unbelievable 360 degree view! If you can't wait to see Riga today, click here for a Live web cam of the Old City skyline. Riga is home to many historic churches of all dominations.
One can tale a walking tour of the romantic cobblestone streets of 800 year old Old Riga City and marvel at how well the buildings have withstood all these years. Or you can walk the length of Elizabetes street from the train station to the North section of the city and tilt your head high to gaze at the remarkable Art Nouveau buildings erected in the expansion boom of the early 1900's. Along the way take a peak at the recently remodeled Reval (Latvija) Hotel one of three Soviet built high-rise buildings in the city. There are many other "soviet left-overs" hidden around the city to marvel at as well.
Further North after crossing the main East/West street Valdemara, be sure to stop at Elizabetes Street Number 10 and then again at the Riga Law School at the intersection of Alberta and Strelnieku Streets in the Embassy District. Continue West along Elizabetes Street and then turn left at Trade Center building and walk through the lovely park along the canal back to the Old City. click for Art Nouveau photo albums
Along the way or after you are tired of walking you may sit in one of the small and cozy cafes and tea houses around the city and sample cakes, tortes and other famous Latvian breads and pastries. For a heartier meal, stop into one of the LIDO restaurants around the city (Elizabetes & Terbatas is one) or take a taxi to the largest Lido log house on Krasta Boulevard for a real treat.
The Riga In Your Pocket Guide book has a self walking tour of the city or you may contact one of the several tour companies or join a tour starting from the Black Heads House in the West side of the Old City.
Night life is abundant around the city. Check the Riga In your Pocket Guide for all the latest places.
Riga's Opera house is just plain fantastic - what more can I say! You not only will marvel at the building but the performance as well! The park adjoining the Opera house is my second favorite place to sit an just enjoy!
One other large park that is the center of daily life is the restored Vermanes Park close to the flower market and borders along Elizabetes Street. A wonderful place to bring the children to enjoy the small cars and the lovely flowers and trees. A popular place year round.
Shopping is everywhere but be sure to watch your money closely. Both the pickpockets and the merchants would love to have some of it. Be sure to visit Europe's largest marketplace just South of the central Bus Station. Go as early as possible in the day as this is the most active time.
If you run out of things to do in the city, take a ride to the countryside on one of the trams. Take number 11 to the Mezaparks area close to the zoo and the water sports of the lake North of Riga. Or, take Tram number 6 East along Brivibas (freedom) Boulevard to the East City Limits. If you like to walk, continue about 2 KM more across the bridge to the Open Air Museum (or take a bus, its just one stop). Trams and bus rides are 0.20 LATS and each car has a conductor that you give the faire to. They will issue a ticket and there are no transfers.
Or, if you prefer the seaside beaches take one on the small mini buses (South End of Elizabetes Street across from the main Post Office) or the train to Majori Station in Jurmala City. My favorite restaurant (Orient-Sultan) in all of Latvia is at 33 Jomas Steeet just a half a block from the train station. The mini bus will cost about 0.50 LAT and the train around 1 LAT. The train will be referred to as Dubulti (next stop after Majori).
There are several new shopping centers and grocery stores around the city in case you have a need. Just ask for the closest Spice, City Market, Sky or Maxima location. A taxi ride will be your best method of transportation but it is not expensive. Just experience some of the daily Latvian life.
Tipping in the restaurants is not yet too established and don't expect too much of the service level. We are working on improving it but the pace is slow. I normally tip 5% for good service and leave no tip for locations where you order yourself from the counter.
One local custom that should be pointed out is that when purchasing something at a store or restaurant, the money is placed in the small plate on the counter and should not be handed directly to the cashier.
Riga was home to the first Christmas Tree (documented use of an evergreen tree in a Christmas celebration) in the year 1510. Visit Riga at Christmas and do your shopping in the outdoor Christmas market.
We also have developed experience Riga with a friend tours. Here an experienced tourist office staff member will show you selected places in Riga without all the historical details but with their own personal perspective of what life is like living in Riga.
These is NOT guided tours with facts and figures. This is an opportunity to experience real life in Riga. Send an email for more information. Outline what type of experience you would like to have. firstname.lastname@example.org
If you still need more ideas on things to do or have a question, just send us an email and we will do our best to provide an answer in a timely manner. We may not know everything, but, we will know where to find out. Our custom guided excursions of Riga are simply delightful!
I am also available to spend an afternoon with you providing life in Riga and Latvia from my American perspective. Lots of stories and special things to see and experience. more
Be sure to view our newly developed videos from around Latvia.
Mike Johnson, General Manager, Patricia LTD, Riga
Here is a drawing of "The essential Riga"
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